It is widely believed that nearly everyone lies on a regular basis. In an interview with ABC News on 1/0/02, University of Virginia sociologist Bella DePaulo remarked that some lying is necessary in everyday life.
Some Reasons People Lie:
- To avoid conflict.
- To supposedly protect someone's feelings.
- To avoid the consequences of their behavior.
- To postpone having to make changes in lifestyle.
- To hide something they did or did not do.
- Because they are afraid of rejection or losing their spouse.
- To be in control of a situation.
- To avoid being embarrassed.
- To make themselves appear more successful, good, or talented than they really are.
You Could Mislabel BehaviorsIt is possible to mistake nervousness or distraction or lack of eye contact for lying with the result of misreading or mislabeling your spouse's behaviors. Nonverbal clues to lying can be difficult to spot and vary from individual to individual.
The Bottom Line: If you think your spouse is lying, ask questions and ask for clarification if necessary. Some experts believe you should ask for eye contact and ask that the story be told in reverse. It is important for you to trust your own intuition or that funny feeling you may feel inside.
Possible Signs of Lying:Remember -- most of these signs can be easily misread and misinterpreted!
- Touching chin, or rubbing their brows.
- Crossed arms or legs.
- Playing with hair.
- A line of perspiration on the brow if it isn't a warm day.
- Saying "no" several times.
- Continual denying of accusations.
- Being extremely defensive.
- Providing more information and specifics than is necessary or was asked for.
- Inconsistencies in what is being shared.
- Body language and facial expressions don't match what is being said such as saying "no", but nodding head up and down.
- May place a barrier such as a desk or chair in front of self.
- Uncommon calmness.
- Unwillingness to touch spouse during conversation.
- Being hesitant.
- Slouching posture.
- Rigidity or fidgeting.
- Differing behaviors. Not acting in a usual fashion.
- Unnatural or limited arm and hand movements.
- Partial shrug.
- Lack of finger pointing.
- Unusual voice fluctuations, word choice, sentence structure.
- Stalling the conversation by repetitive use of pauses and comments like "um" or "you know".
- Lack of use of contractions. Prefers emphasizing "not" when talking.
- Use of word fillers or evasive answers when on the telephone.
- Lack of many pronouns while talking.
- Avoidance of eye contact, eyes glancing to the right, staring past you, or turning away from you while they are talking. However, some honesty experts, like Stan Walters, say that measuring eye contact isn't an effective tool in detecting deception.
Anahad O'Connor: "Research suggests that it is not possible to detect lies based on eye movement."
Source: Anahad O'Connor. "Really? You Can Spot a Lie by Watching a Person's Eyes." NYTimes.com. 7/16/2012.